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13 December 2012 @ 02:04 pm
"The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey" / A Review  
Let me start off by telling you that like many other people, I too was waiting for what felt like a lifetime to see this movie.
And yet I felt almost sick when I entered the cinema yesterday evening. I was so tense, so nervous, so desperately hoping that I will love it, and that the feelings I started having in 2001 would come back to me all over again.
It's only natural that in all those years of waiting & hoping, you are bound to have expectations that will be impossible to meet.
I tried to prepare myself for that; keeping in mind that the experiences I had with „The Lord of the Rings“ will never be repeatable. It was a truely magical time, and the same magic never happens twice.
So what I wanted from „The Hobbit“ was not a repeat, but an addition. A different path back into the fictional world I love the most, and have loved for almost half of my life now.

And what can I say?
Peter, Philippa and Fran did it!
It was not perfect, it was not everything I hoped for, but boy, did it feel good to watch!!

From many critics I read the complain that the atmosphere seemed off somehow, not LotR-y enough.
Those people need to understand that „The Hobbit“ takes place in a different time; and by acknowledging that, LotR itself reaches an even deeper level through the new movie(s).

What „The Hobbit“ shows us is not an end-of-all-things apocalyptic Middle-Earth. But it is infact the Middle-Earth the Fellowship is trying to save 60 years later. And that is a part of Tolkiens world – with the big exception of The Shire - we haven't seen in Lord of the Rings before.

We've seen Rivendell in its last days, with all its people leaving for the west.
We've seen Rohan burning and with a poison-minded King.
We've seen Gondor weak, grey and with no King at all.
And the only glimpse we've seen of the kingdom of the dwarves was the grave that is Moria.

But now „The Hobbit“ makes us see the world how it was during the long peace; and how it shall be again after the War of the Ring.
Life is joyful, it's a bit safer, it's simply not that dark yet and that is how it should be! I imagine that when in 2014 we have all 6 movies to watch, we will clearly see the transformation of Middle-Earth that goes hand in hand with the rise of Sauron.

So while for example the dinner scene in Rivendell, with the musical elves and all, seems a bit awkward at first, I quickly accepted it! Life used to be good in Rivendell and damn well I enjoy seeing that!

Oh how it warmed my heart to see Frodo again. Yes, it was not absolutely necessary to add him and old Bilbo, but I am grateful they did it. Not only did the chronological time their scene was added in put tears in my eyes, it was also very emotional on a fandom-level for me. Everyone of you who has seen the DVD material of Elijah Woods last day on the set of LotR, can surely remember how hard it was for both him and PJ; and it warms my heart (again!) to think about how it must have felt for them to take this trip back in time, getting the opportunity to re-live it once more.

The prolog was stunning!
Sadly, at that point I was still a bit distracted by the new HFR 3D (which is a true eye opener, btw!), so I'm looking forward of seeing it again while being used to HFR already.
2 second in and I already knew that Richard Armitage IS Thorin, and that they couldn't have found someone better. He is everything a dwarf prince needs to be.

(Here I may add that I have to shake my head at the critics who said that „Thorin is no Aragorn/weak copy of Aragorn/...“ because duh!
Aragorn is a Numenor, heir of Isildur, High King of Gondor,... It would make little sense if any random dwarf prince would be ~just like him~ -_- … Not that Thorin is random!! lol but you get what I mean)

I lost my shit when Thranduil appeared!
I knew he was gonna be in the first movie already, but for some reason I expected him more towards the end.
But there he was, in all his glory! And I actually gasped and had to grab my friends arm next to me. What a sight! The costume/make-up department outdid themselves with his character.

The whole events taking place in Bag End were flawless!!
The dialogue, the introduction of the dwarves, everything!
It has been said before but there is no way to not say it again: Martin Freeman was born to play Bilbo Baggins!
There is not a single thing about his performance I disliked, not even the smallest; and I whole-heartedly believe there is no other actor in this world who could have been a better Bilbo than he is!

Gandalf is a very different Gandalf than we know from LotR. Again, that fits right into the lighter version of Middle-Earth we are being intodruced to.
His relationship to Bilbo & the 13 dwarves is wonderful and …. and I feel like I would repeat myself a lot now if I'd only go on and on what I found perfect xD

So let's quickly talk about the few things I didn't like:
- I didn't like the look & feel of Azog. I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with the fact he was CGI :/ … compared to Lurtz from Fellowship of the Ring for example, he makes for a very poor main villain. Lurtz had such an intense physical precense that felt so scary to me. Azog was just... idk, I simply wasn't impressed.
- Same goes for all the orcs tbh. I wished they would have been more similar to what we are used from LotR.

These are my only 2 complains as of now actually.

I think everyone agrees with me when I say that the „Riddles in the Dark“ scene was the highlight of the movie!
Both Martin & Andy Serkis as Gollum brought on oscar-worthy performances in that one; and it is hard to believe that this was actually the first scene they worked on when started filming.
The suspense, the intensity and the heavy knowledge of what is about to come, and how this moment will change history forever. Cinema can't get much better than this.
Same with the moment where Bilbo spares Gollum's life. A breathtaking moment in the context of Tolkien's whole work; and it was done in the most perfect way.

Obvioulsy, I wouldn't be me if I wouldn't end up shipping the hell out of various characters. I went into the movie though that my shipping heart would have the wait for the second movie to start beating (thinking Legolas/Bard here), but boy was I wrong because: BILBO/THORIN IT IS!!
Their moment at the end, including THE HUG (!) is the one scene most vivid in my mind now still.

As for what I am expecting for part 2 & 3; stuff like Smaug in the very end and the Necromancer (helloooo~ Benedict Cumberbatch btw) & a Nazgul in Dol Guldur make me very confident in my trust that it will only get better!

So yeah, those were the first impressions I have from my first viewing.
I will be seeing the movie again in a few hours, and I can't wait.
the broken radio was playing suicide: Kilivolare on December 13th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
drooling and flailing over here, waiting my turn.
Beautiful writeup!
~Berlin, Hotel Adlon. Es ist Dienstag, 22:59.~: LOTR - Sam & Frodoonerva_t on December 13th, 2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
When are you going to see it?
I hope you enjoy it :D

Kili was flawless btw xD
(Deleted comment)
~Berlin, Hotel Adlon. Es ist Dienstag, 22:59.~onerva_t on December 14th, 2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
I keep reading later Hobbit chapters now and keep imagining them now that I know the stlye of certain things. PART 2 AND 3 WILL BE BEYOND EPIC OMG!

The use of CGI orcs instead of "real" ones is really the only thing where I wanna go WTF @ PJ! The orcs and uruks in LotR were flawless and I don't know why they decided against them this time :(
Denorios: LOTR aragorndenorios on December 13th, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'm going to see it tomorrow after work - can't wait!
~Berlin, Hotel Adlon. Es ist Dienstag, 22:59.~onerva_t on December 14th, 2012 01:30 pm (UTC)
hope you enjoy it :D
Destatideutscher_engel on December 16th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy to read this. T _ T

All the "critics" are talking about how it sucks and it's boring and you can tell they expected it to be LOTR 2.0 with a few extra fight scenes. As a fan it makes me rage because I'm sure none of them have even cracked open the book. Though honestly I don't think it's too hard to understand that the atmospheres are SUPPOSED to be completely different.

I haven't had the time to go see it yet but a;ldksjf;laskd I can't even wait. And your review just made me so much more flaily. * _ *

I imagine that I'll end up shipping Bilbo and Thorin as well. XD
~Berlin, Hotel Adlon. Es ist Dienstag, 22:59.~onerva_t on December 17th, 2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
I saw it 3 times now and I liked it even more and more each time :D
Will go see it at least 2 more times this week :X

Although now that I have also seen the 2D version, I gotta say that one feels more LOTR-y; and I ended up liking it better. HFR 3D is still something everyone needs to see imho! It's beautiful!

Destatideutscher_engel on December 17th, 2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping to get there this coming weekend. I'll probably see it in 2D first because I'm sure that's all the theatre by my house has right now. XD

I get this fluffy fluttering in my chest whenever I see any previews on TV.